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http://ssrn.com/abstract=313759
 
 

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Relocation of Children after Divorce and Children's Best Interests: New Evidence and Legal Considerations


Sanford L. Braver


Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

Ira Mark Ellman


Arizona State University College of Law; Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

William V. Fabricius


Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

May 21, 2002


Abstract:     
State courts have rightly termed relocation cases, in which a custodial parent's desire to move away with the child is opposed by the other parent, one of the knottiest and most disturbing problems courts face. The recent trend is to permit such moves. This trend was encouraged by Judith Wallerstein's influential but controversial amica curiae brief in the California Supreme Court case of Burgess v. Burgess, which argued that allowing such moves is generally in the child's interests because social science evidence shows that in general, what is good for the custodial parent is good for the child. Subsequent papers have challenged Wallerstein's characterization of the social science evidence, but in fact there has been no single study offering direct evidence on this question. The current study, which divides college students whose parents were divorced into groups based upon their parents' moveaway status, sought such direct evidence. We find statistically significant differences favoring children of divorce whose parents did not move, on a variety of outcomes, as reported by the students themselves. These results suggest that the child's interests require separate consideration from that of the custodial parent's in the rules by which such relocation cases are decided.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: Child custody; divorce, relocation

JEL Classification: K39

working papers series


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Date posted: June 12, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Braver, Sanford L. and Ellman, Ira Mark and Fabricius, William V., Relocation of Children after Divorce and Children's Best Interests: New Evidence and Legal Considerations (May 21, 2002). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=313759 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.313759

Contact Information

Sanford L. Braver
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
Ira Mark Ellman (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-2125 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.asu.edu/HomePages/Ellman/
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
William V. Fabricius
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
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